Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Agreeing to Disagree

A statement that is very commonly heard today, especially among people discussing their confessions of faith, is “We will agree to disagree.”

Do the people who make this statement even realize what it is that they are saying?

What they are really saying is that despite whatever things that they discuss and debate that they really are in agreement after all. What is the basis of their agreement? They agree that none of the things about which they disagree really matter.

When people say that they will agree to disagree, what they are saying is that they do not count these matters as important enough to press to the point that the other person is left with only two possible responses: either to abandon the belief that has been erroneously held and to come into agreement with the truth; or to reject what the other person believes and to reject the person who presses it as absolute truth.

This kind of conviction regarding what is believed is completely abandoned when people agree to disagree. Such an agreement is an agreement that the areas of disagreement really do not matter beyond being the expression of one’s personal opinion. Therefore the two parties can continue to be friends in the agreement that these matters are not of any real importance. They have agreed that there is nothing so important as to argue to the point of absolute agreement, and so they absolutely agree that nothing is to be absolutely rejected.

I, for one, do not agree.

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